Migration and evolution of extrasolar planets

D. E. Trilling, W. Benz, T. Guillot, J. I. Lunine, W. B. Hubbard, A. Burrows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Giant planets in circumstellar disks can migrate inward from their initial (formation) positions at several AUs. Inward radial migration of the planet is caused by torques between the planet and the disk; outward radial migration of the planet is caused by torques between the planet and the spinning star, and by torques due to Roche lobe overflow and consequent mass loss from the planet. We present self-consistent numerical considerations of the problem of migrating giant planets by summing torques on planets for various physical parameters of the disk and of planets. We find that Jupiter-mass planets can stably arrive and survive at small heliocentric distances, thus reproducing observed properties of some of the recently discovered extra-solar planets. The range of fates of massive planets is broad, and some perish by losing all their mass onto the central star during Roche lobe overflow, while others survive for the lifetime of the central star. Surviving planets cluster into two groups when examined in terms of final mass and final heliocentric distance: those which have lost mass and those which have not. Some of the observed extrasolar planets fall into each of these two exclusive classes. We also find that there is an inner boundary for planets' final heliocentric distances, caused by tidal torques with the central star. Planets in small orbits are shown to be stable against atmospheric loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-556
Number of pages4
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part C: Solar, Terrestrial and Planetary Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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